The spread of Covid-19, declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020, brought with it an unprecedented disruption in economic activities worldwide, as countries resorted to lockdowns, implying massive economic costs. As the transmission of the virus continues to swell the number of new cases on a daily basis, the situation continues to unfold dynamically. While some countries have managed to flatten the growth curve of the number of positive cases, others are still struggling. In the current issue of Southeast Asia Infrastructure, our focus story talks about the impact of Covid-19 on infrastructure sectors across the region.

Besides, the rapid pace of urbanisation and industrialisation in Southeast Asia has led to a big surge in the volume of waste generated in the region. Our story “Gaining Traction” talks about how the waste-to-energy segment has evolved over time and what are the new and upcoming opportunities.

Cross-border trade and cooperation has been a key focus area among the ASEAN member states. The Thailand-Laos Friendship Bridges over the River Mekong have been constructed under this framework. Four such bridges have been constructed so far while approval has been granted for the fifth Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge. Our story ”Bridging the Gap” gives an update on the project.

The spike in water demand by industries as well as domestic users has made it desirable for the governments to adopt advanced technological solutions for efficient water supply management. The story “Better Management” reviews the recent water sector initiatives undertaken by some of the countries in the region.

Southeast Asia continues to be one of the most promising areas as far as 5G is concerned and is progressing fast to realise its 5G ambitions. Our story “The 5G Wave” puts the spotlight on how operators in the region are taking measures  to embrace 5G.

In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Asian Development Bank, in its recently released Asian Development Outlook 2020, forecast 2.2 per cent growth for Developing Asia, and 1 per cent growth for Southeast Asia. The story “ASEAN Response” throws light on how financial institutions are playing a crucial role in mitigating Covid-19.